Campbell rose to international attention in 1986, touring with Cyndi Lauper on her True Colors World Tour. For the next ten years, he played with several notable bands which drew from different genres. In 1987, Campbell joined Duran Duran, and later was hired first as a session player in 1991 by Soul Asylum, playing on half of the tracks on their 1992 release, Grave Dancer's Union including their Grammy Award-winning single, "Runaway Train". Campbell soon replaced Soul Asylum's drummer Grant Young, and played with them from 1995 to 1998.
In 1999, Campbell began practicing Falun Gong, a form of meditative qigong practice whose followers are persecuted in China. He traveled to Beijing in 2002 to demonstrate against the suppression, and was allegedly detained and beaten by police. He has since continued to advocate for human rights in China.